Indiana Bans Sex-Change Surgery and Transgender Drugs for Children

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed legislation into law to ban sex-change surgery and other transgender procedures from being performed on children in Indiana.

The new law bans minors from being prescribed puberty blockers and hormone medicines or being put through life-altering gender reassignment surgery until they reach 18 years old.

Senate Bill 480 was signed into state law on Wednesday by Holcomb.

It prohibits a physician or other practitioner from knowingly providing “gender transition procedures” to an individual under the age of 18.

The law includes those with parental consent.

It also bans medical professionals from aiding or abetting another person in providing gender reassignment to minors.

According to the bill, gender transition procedures include “any medical or surgical service that seeks to surgically alter or remove healthy physical or anatomical characteristics or features that are typical for the individual’s sex, in order to instill or create physiological or anatomical characteristics that resemble a sex different from the individual’s sex, including genital gender reassignment surgery or nongenital gender reassignment surgery knowingly performed for the purpose of assisting an individual with a gender transition.”

Exemptions are outlined for medical reasons that are unrelated to gender reassignment, where testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone may be used.

“Permanent gender-changing surgeries with lifelong impacts and medically prescribed preparation for such a transition should occur as an adult, not as a minor,” Holcomb said in a statement.

“There has and will continue to be debate within the medical community about the best ways to provide physical and mental health care for adolescents who are struggling with their own gender identity, and it is important that we recognize and understand those struggles are real.

“With all of that in mind, I have decided to sign SB 480 into law.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana responded on Wednesday by filing a lawsuit challenging the law.

The suit is filed on behalf of four “transgender” minors and their families, as well as a doctor and health care clinic.

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The organization argues the new law violates the U.S. Constitution in several ways, including the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The lawsuit also claims the law violates the federal requirements of the Medicaid Act and the Affordable Care Act because it prohibits essential medical services that would otherwise be authorized and reimbursed by Medicaid.

“This law would be devastating to trans youth and their families, causing them serious injuries and forcing those who can, to uproot their lives and leave the state to access the gender-affirming care they need,” Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana legal director, said in a statement.

“Gender-affirming care is life-saving care for our clients, and they’re terrified of what will happen if this law is allowed to take effect.

“No child should be cut off from the medical care they need, or denied their fundamental right to be themselves—but this law would do both.

“We’re suing to stop this cruel and unconstitutional law from taking effect and inflicting further harm on these children and their families.”

The ACLU of Indiana statement mentions two of the parent-plaintiffs, Beth and Nathanial Clawson, and their 10-year-old child. They are worried they won’t be able to medicate their child when puberty begins.

READ MORE: ACLU Pushes Chemical Castration of Transgender Kids after Fighting Use of Same Drugs for Sex Offenders

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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